Behave, or else

Your letters
Your letters

I was sitting at the edge of Climping beach last Sunday, enjoying some early spring sunshine, when I was startled by a dog jumping on me and soiling my trousers with its dirty paws.

I used my boot to drive it away and threw a stone after it, without hitting it. Given that my language descended from what is usually regarded as courteous, the owner, nonetheless, offered no apology except to say that the dog was a puppy. He even suggested that, if I did not like dogs, I might leave the beach and go somewhere else.

On the previous Sunday, I was about to estimate a large number of wild geese that had rested on agricultural land north of the beach, when the entire flock started into the air. There followed a distressing confusion, the cause of which soon appeared as an uncontrolled dog which was chasing across the fields as if they had no bounds, twisting and convulsing in a frenzy that suggested rabies.

Since ill-behaved dogs are little short of vermin, dog owners ought to recognise that they carry an obligation to their communities as much as to their pets. Failing this, with development bringing more people to the area and leaving residents fewer places to go, I may have to do as the man said, stay at home.

Adrian Taylor

11 Wickbourne House

Littlehampton

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